Saving your thesis as PDF

In order to professionally print your thesis, we need it supplied as an Acrobat PDF document. This is the preferred format for professional printing because what you see in the PDF document is essentially what you’ll receive back when it’s printed, with everything laid out as you intended.

We’ll come to how you save your thesis as a PDF shortly but, first, a quick word about layout, size and thickness …

Thesis layout & margins

We’re often asked about margins. While it’s not set in stone, a margin of 25mm on the binding edge is recommended. For the outer edge and the top/bottom margins we recommend that they should be no less than 5mm although if you feel that your finished document will look better graphically with a bit more than that, then that’s fine from our point of view too, however always check with your university to see if they have any specific margin specifications.

Thesis Size

At The Document Centre we can print anything from A6 (105mm x 148mm) to A0 (841mm x H1189mm) in size. However most universities will have a set size for thesis printing and binding – often A4 – together with other guidelines which you need to follow including cover colour, any foiled lettering on the front and spine and so on. If in doubt ask your university for the specifications or, indeed, ask us — as we print and bind for most UK universities on a regular basis.

Thesis thickness

With regard to the possible thickness possible for theses and dissertations, at The Document Centre we can bind anything up to 500 pages (about 3 inches thick) in any single volume if it’s soft-bound, hard-bound or velo-bound. If your thesis is more than this we can, of course, produce more than one volume for you.

Saving off a PDF (on a Windows PC)

Assuming you are producing your thesis/dissertation in Microsoft Word on a Windows PC, you will need the Microsoft Office Plug-in to be installed on your PC in order to easily convert it to PDF format. If you have Microsoft Office 2007 or newer, the plug-in can be downloaded from the Microsoft website.

So, assuming you have that installed …

1). Open the document;
2). Thoroughly check it if you haven’t done so already (i.e. proof read it and spell check it);
3). Save it if you made any final corrections and, either way, remember to keep your .doc or .docx file in case you need to edit it again in the future;
4). Then choose FILE;
5). then select SAVE AS;
6). and then select PDF or XPS;
7). Once saved open the PDF and thoroughly check it. Check the layouts and content are as you intended and that any graphics are suitable in terms of clarity etc. If not, re-edit the original Word document, re-save and re-make a new PDF in the same way as described.
8). Once you’re happy with the PDF, click here to order.

You can see the above in action via this video:

Saving off a PDF (on a Mac)

If you are using an Apple Mac computer, it should include the option to save documents as PDFs by default, without needing to install a separate plug-in. So …

1). Open the document;
2). Thoroughly check it if you haven’t already (i.e. proof read it and also spell check it);
3). Save the file in case you need to edit it again in the future;
4). Then choose FILE;
5). then select PRINT;
6). and then choose a command from the PDF pop-up menu (bottom left);
7). To create a PDF* file, choose SAVE AS PDF;
8). To create a PDF-X* file, choose SAVE AS PDF-X;
PDF format on a Mac saves all graphics at full resolution while PDF-X is a standard printing industry format which distils the file size down by including only the minimum information and resolution required to print the document professionally. The printed result is essentially the same however PDF-X files tend to be smaller and so are easier to send or email.
9). Once saved open the PDF and thoroughly check it. Check the layouts and content are as you intended and that any graphics are suitable in terms of clarity etc. If not, re-edit the original document, re-save and re-make a new PDF in the same way again.
10). Once you’re happy with the PDF, click here to order.

You can see the above in action via this video:

If you have any problems converting your files to PDF format, simply contact us:
(email: info@document-centre.co.uk or telephone: 0207 928 9738).

Frequently asked questions:

Q: Can I supply my own printing?
A:
 Some people prefer to supply their own printing instead of an electronic file, perhaps to save a few pennies. That’s fine — we can simply bind your own pages and produce your cover if that’s all you want us to do but bear in mind that paper weight should not fall below 90gsm nor be above 120gsm, otherwise it may cause issues when binding. You’ll also need to check your university regulations as to whether or not they accept double-sided printing (most universities don’t) and supply accordingly.

Q: Can I email my thesis to you?
A:
 If, for any reason, you cannot upload your file via the online order form then simply email us your PDF(s) after completing the online order. Please include the order number when you email to us at info@document-centre.co.uk

Q: What if my file is too big to email?
A:
 No problem – after completing your online order, you can send the PDF(s) via this link. Please remember to include your order number in the subject or message field.

Q: What should I do if I have multiple files?
A: First of all please place your thesis printing/binding order online. Then, having numbered your PDF files in the order in which they need to be printed, send them to us electronically by one of the above methods (e.g. via email or, for larger files, use this link). Do please remember to include your order number when sending us the PDF files.

Q: What if I have a question not on this list?
A: Please either check our FAQemail us or call us on 0207 928 9738 and we’ll be pleased to help.